[LINK] Peter Martin Economist (?) blames Labor for NBN!

Craig Sanders cas at taz.net.au
Thu Aug 17 15:46:33 AEST 2017

On Thu, Aug 10, 2017 at 10:38:42AM +1000, David Lochrin wrote:

> And neither HFC nor the copper network were engineered to be part of a
> broadband network in the first place

HFC is basically cable TV repurposed for internet use.  Which might have made
sense in the US where cable tv is almost ubiquitous.  It never made much sense
in Australia.

It certainly doesn't make any sense at all as part of the NBN, which is
(was?) an infrastructure project with the purpose of replacing old analog
communications infrastructure with modern digital infrastructure suitable for
the next 50-100 years.

FFS! Optical fibre has almost no attentuation (effectively zero compared to
copper or any other cable carrying electrical rather than light signals)
so supports extremely long cable lengths with little or no signal loss or
distortion, and can carry numerous multiplexed laser signals - allowing for
in-place upgrades without having to dig up the fucking cable and replace it.
What's so fucking difficult to understand about that being inherently superior
to electrical cables?

Putting copper cable in at any part of the infrastructure side of the link
(i.e. outside the customer premises) is either fatuously stupid and ignorant
or criminally corrupt. or both.

Copper cables served us well in their day. that day has long past. and
the cables in the ground have NOT been maintained at all well, especially
not since the corporatisation of Telecom and later the privatisation of
Telstra...T's managemement have known for many years that copper cable was
dead or dying and had no desire to waste money on maintaining a dead-end
technology.  They must have laughed their fucking heads off when they
forced the government to make the NBN buy their shitty copper network from
them, along with all their un-remediated asbestos-lined pits (thus delaying
the NBN's rollout until Abbott could come in and give it a new, exciting,
kamikaze-oriented mission)

So what makes actual sense (financial sense or any other kind of sense)?

1. Spending many tens of billions of dollars replacing the nation's
communication network with something modern and usuable for many decades to


2. spending roughly the same amount (or more) just doing a crappy patch job on
it, knowing that it will have to be done properly anyway within a decade?

Fuck the Liberals and their bullshit about "Cost-Benefit Analysis" and their
bogus financial figures.  That's just a stupid slogan they troll out whenever
they object to something. They never want it applied to anything THEY want
to do, like cutting taxes for the rich and multinationals, or legalising
currently illegal forms of tax evasion, or marriage equality plebiscites or
enormous adani coal mines or cashless welfare cards or drug-testing benefit


ps: sorry. this grew from the original two-paragraph comment I intended to an
extended rant.

craig sanders <cas at taz.net.au>

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